After a 40-day journey that commenced from the Sathish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, India’s Chandrayaan-3 has successfully landed on the Moon.
This comes after a history of setbacks, including the crash of the Vikram lander during previous Chandrayaan missions.
It is worth mentiong here that the Vikram lander, which met with lunar surface impact in past missions, has now triumphantly reached the moon’s south pole. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced that the automatic landing sequence of the spacecraft had been initiated. This sequence engages an algorithm that takes control as the spacecraft approaches the designated landing spot, ensuring a precise and controlled touchdown.
Chandrayaan-3 is anticipated to operate for a span of two weeks, during which it will conduct a series of experiments. Among these experiments is a spectrometer analysis aimed at deciphering the mineral composition of the lunar surface in the vicinity of its landing site.
The significance of landing on the moon’s south pole lies in the potential to explore the presence of water ice, a critical aspect for advancing our understanding of lunar geology. Carla Filotico, a partner and managing director at SpaceTec Partners, emphasized the importance of this achievement in adding to the cumulative knowledge about the moon’s composition.
The primary objective of this mission is to showcase the Indian space agency’s capability to execute a gentle lunar landing. This achievement follows India’s unsuccessful attempt with the Chandrayaan-2 mission in 2019, which resulted in a crash during a landing attempt near the moon’s south pole.
Chandrayaan-3’s accomplishment also highlights India’s entry into an exclusive group of nations capable of achieving a soft landing on the moon. Prior to Chandrayaan’s success, this club included only Russia, China, and the United States.
The inception of India’s space program can be attributed to Vikram Sarabhai, as evident from the naming of the Vikram lander. The Chandrayaan-3 Rover, set to conduct on-site chemical analysis of the lunar surface while in motion, will be deployed by the Vikram lander, culminating in a gentle landing at the moon’s south pole.